A few weekends ago my girlfriend and I celebrated my birthday by enjoying a delicious Sunday brunch buffet at the Prince Court in the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki.
Upon entering the lobby on the ground floor, hang a right where the escalators are…
The banquet rooms and this restaurant are located on the third floor. The entrance to Prince Court is across the way where my camera is pointed in the second row left photo above. As you see in the bottom right photo above, Prince Court overlooks scenic Ala Wai Boat Harbor.
Here’s the complete panoramic view…
The photos above of Ala Wai Boat Harbor were taken from the window where we were seated in Prince Court, overlooking this view. Very nice, especially if you like boats like I do. In the bottom left photo, you’re looking towards Ala Moana. The bottom right photo is a typical table place setting.
Here’s more views within the dining room area and buffet line…
That gal to the right in front of the wine rack/room divider is manning the Temaki Sushi station.
Here’s more views within the dining room area and buffet line…
Very open space, with a family-friendly feel thanks to it being well-lit, while being rather elegant at the same time.
Now let’s take a look at what’s for brunch!…
Haupia Fruit Cocktail, Canteloupe, Watermelon and Pineapple
Oranges, Macaroni Salad, Caesar Salad and Mixed Greens. Here’s more dressings.
Pasta Salad, Portuguese Sausage ‘n Bacon and Eggs Benedict
Various antipasto selections
Korean Banchan: Kim Chee, Seasoned Cucumbers, Kim Chee Tofu, Seasoned Bean Sprouts and Kim Chee Cucumbers
Roasted Red Potatoes, Fried Rice, Maki Sushi, Temaki Sushi Station.
See the menu for the sushi station here.
Waffle station: waffles, fresh cut strawberries, whipped cream and maple syrup
Vegetables Du Jour, Roast Pork Loin with Boursin Mushroom Sauce and Steamed Opakapaka with Lup Chong, Soy Sauce and Ginger
Pasta station: Penne pasta, marinara meat sauce, alfredo sauce and grated parmesan cheese
Saimin Station: noodles, toppings and broth
Ahi and Tako Poke, made-to-order Omelet Station and Prime Rib Carving Station, Prime Rib
Cheese ‘n crackers
Assorted Danish, Sticky Buns, Muffins, Banana and Carrot Bread, Mini Croissants, Brioche Buns, Butter, Strawberry and Guava Jam
Dessert station including Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce, Cheesecake, Caramel Custard
Coconut Cake, Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie, and other temptations
Darned, for the life of me, I forgot to get a photo of the Snow Crab Legs station… one of the most important selling points on the buffet line! Well, for the record, there was indeed a massive pan full of sweet and delicious Snow Crab Legs, which you’ll see one of soon on my plate. I also missed a few other selections here and there, but this is pretty much the gist of it.
Wow, where to start? More like, what should I eat or not eat?! You know how buffets can be, where your eyes often are much bigger than your stomach. For me, I just stick with the premium dishes and mostly avoid starches, as those quickly fill you up.
following are the appetizer and entree plates that we brought back to our table…
We began our brunch a little after 10:30am, so my girlfriend was still in breakfast mode, opting for a fresh-made omelet, along with fried rice, steamed veggies, bacon and that amazing roast pork (top left photo). For round two, she also took advantage of the made-to-order Temaki Sushi Station, getting a California Temaki Roll, accompanied by some lomi salmon and ahi poke (top right photo). Ohw-right! That Roast Pork with Borsin (cheese) Mushroom Sauce was so delicious that she went back for seconds when getting an entree a bit later. Also on that plate is a filet of that Steamed Opakapaka with Lup Cheong and Ginger-Soy sauce (bottom left photo). Although it’s a starch, I just HAD to try their saimin (bottom right photo).
For my appetizer first plate, I wasted no time, going straight for the good stuff, grabbing a crab leg, ahi and tako poke, lomi salmon and mushroom and vegetable antipasto (top left photo). Going back for my entree, you can tell I’m a Poke fiend, getting more of that, another one of those deliciously-sweet Snow Crab Legs with cocktail sauce and lemon, a juicy medium-rare cut of Prime Rib with a slight drizzle of Au Jus and a dollop of Horseradish, adding just a little starch with a small serving of Penne Pasta with Alfredo Sauce and fresh grated Parmesan cheese (top right photo). Bottom row photos show a close-up of that succulent Prime Rib and onolicious Tako and Ahi Poke. Just looking at that makes me wanna’ do a “hana hou” again this Sunday.
For my dessert plate, I chose a slice of Caramel Custard Flan, Chocolate Mousse (in the cup), a Strawberry & Kiwi Tart and Bread Pudding with a drizzle of Vanilla sauce over it (top left photo). My girlfriend chose a slice of Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie, small slice of a Belgian Waffle with Maple Syrup and Watermelon (top right photo). There using a fork, you can see the consistency of the Chocolate Mousse (bottom left photo). A bear claw (bottom right photo).
Of course being a Sunday Brunch/yours truly’s birthday, we also enjoyed a glass each of Mimosa…
Well how was the food? Across the board, excellent. Oishii desu. Ono!
The steamed Opakapaka with Lup Cheong and the Roast Pork with Boursin Mushroom Sauce were outstanding choices on the hot entree line. That Borsin mushroom sauce was decadently-rich and deep, while the Lup Cheong and ginger-soy sauce flavors soaking into the moist and flavorful Opakapaka was to die for.
Of course the Prime Rib was fantastic, being juicy, tender and seasoned just right, with a nicely-salted herbed crust. The chilled cooked Snow Crab Legs were also sweet, tender and flavorful, and a perfect accompanyment with the prime rib. Those four items alone make the price of entry here worth every penny.
Not to forget the Tako and Ahi Poke, which were both very fresh and the sesame-shoyu based marinade seasoning was just right, being neither under or overpowering. Even the Penne and Alfredo sauce was delicious, with penne being perfectly al dente and the alfredo creamy yet light, not too rich.
The samin was the only thing I tried that needs work here. The noodles were kinda’ soggy from being oversteamed in the covered warmer the individual serving bundles are kept in, and the dashi broth was way too watered down. The sliced omelet garnish also was dry and flavorless, detracting from the saimin more than helping it. Perhaps they use that Egg Beater substitute stuff instead of real eggs. Dunno.
A trick I learned by trial and error in my attempt in replicating Sam Sato’s dry noodle recipe, is to make your dashi broth using a half-ratio mixture of chicken stock and water, then add the dashinomoto packet to that. Try it. Da’ buggah is a winnah’, gauranz-babaranze!
My dessert plate was equally as satisfying and delicious as my appetizer and entree selections. Standouts were the Caramel Custard Flan and Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. YUM!
Our server and bussers were all attentive, promptly bringing our drink, as well as removing finished plates from our table.
Summing up her entire meal, my girlfriend gives Prince Court’s Sunday Brunch Buffet on this visit a solid 4-SPAM Musubi rating, to which I concur for mine as well.
The Hawaii Prince Hotel is located on Ala Moana Boulevard in Waikiki, a block before the Ilikai Hotel, where that famous clip reveals Jack Lord on the roof in the opening theme song (you can see the Ilikai peeking out, straight ahead in the photo on the left). Shown here is Holomoana Street where the entrance to the hotel is.
Another interesting historical note for me personally is, this is the former site of Kaiser Hospital, where I was born! So here I am a few decades later, eating breakfast and celebrating my birthday at that very same spot, with it now being in the form of a resort hotel. Such is the dynamics of life in Honolulu.
The Prince Court also offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and a Friday seafood buffet. See their website at the link below for more information.
Sunday Brunch Buffet
Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki
100 Holomoana St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
site: www.PrinceResortHawaii.com/hawaii-prince-court <—see sample menu there
Sunday Brunch Buffet
10:00am – 1:00pm
Price (current as of this writing):
$35.50/person, $17.75 children 6-10 years old
The Tasty Island rating:
(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)
P.S. Big mahalo to Franchot Uehara, the Restaurant Manager on duty who so kindly gave me permission to take photos of everything shown here. Arigato gozaimasu!